The following is a report on major state legislation which was considered in the Spring Session of the Illinois General Assembly that affects non-residential real estate.
HOUSE BILL 1227 – LIMITATION ON RETAINAGE IN CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS
This bill states that under a construction contract, it is unlawful to withhold more than 5% retainage earned by contractors and subcontractors. IAR opposes this measure because it is government interference in the provisions of private contracts. This bill is being held in the House Judiciary Committee.
SENATE BILL 2375 – CRIMINAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT ACT—EXTENSION TO NON-RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
This bill seeks to amend the “Criminal Housing Management” provisions of the Criminal Code to expand the Act to include all types of property (now limited to residential property). Those provisions of the Criminal Code provide that criminal management occurs when a person having personal management or control of real property recklessly permits the physical condition of the property to become or remain in any condition which endangers the health or safety of any person. IAR is OPPOSED to the expansion of this statute, even though it is currently rarely used. We believe there are serious implications to extending this to commercial property. The bill was advanced out of the Senate Criminal Law Committee; the bill’s sponsor, Senator Bill Haine, has pledged to work with the IAR prior to advancing the bill on the Senate floor. However the bill did not advance in the Senate in the Spring Session.
HOUSE BILL 197 – TAX INCREMENT FINANCE (TIF) PROCEEDS
This bill amends the Tax Increment Finance law to state that three years after a TIF is established, that portion of the property taxes levied on parcels in the TIF that is attributable to inflation (the CPI) shall be allocated to a school district located in the TIF. IAR and the Illinois Tax Increment Association now oppose this bill. Both groups feel that this proposal, if enacted, would reduce the effectiveness of TIFs as an economic development tool. The sponsor has chosen not to call the bill for a vote in the House.
HOUSE BILL 2764 – IDOT – REGULATION OF REAL ESTATE SIGNS
House Bill 2764 is the legislation dealing with the Illinois Department of Transportation and the overreaching regulations of on premise and real estate for sale or lease signs. IAR SUPPORTS this legislation to clarify the State law as it relates to federal law to regulate billboards. This bill was signed into law in June. Click here to read the legislation in its entirety. 
HOUSE BILL 3277 – ILLINOIS INCOME TAX CREDIT FOR “BROWNFIELDS”
This bill provides that qualified taxpayers that undertake one or more eligible projects related to the remodeling, rehabilitation, modernization, or remediation of certain contaminated property may apply with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to obtain a tax credit against their income tax liability. IAR supports this legislation. It has been re-assigned to the House Rules Committee.
HOUSE BILL 2572 - LAND BANK PILOT PROGRAM, SOUTH SUBURBS
This bill, as introduced, creates the Local Government Stabilization Authority Act to essentially allow counties, municipalities or townships to create land banks to acquire, clean-up, demolish, rehabilitate, redevelop and sell vacant and abandoned housing. It appears to be the sponsor’s intent to enact a pilot program that is limited to townships located in House legislative districts #28 (Rep. Rita), #29 (Rep. Jones, the sponsor) and #30 (Rep. Will Davis). The language in the bill is very similar to the land bank pilot program ordinance recently passed in Cook County. IAR was NEUTRAL on the bill and plans to have further discussions with the sponsor. IAR did provide testimony urging the Committee to ensure that the scope and duration of any such pilot program is narrowly drafted. In April, the sponsor chose not to advance the bill to the House floor for a vote.
Senate Bill 2182 – TAX INCREMENT FINANCE (TIF) REPORT INFORMATION
Senate Bill 2182 provides that TIF reports that are required to be filed with the Comptroller’s office can be filed electronically within 180 days after the close of the municipal fiscal year or as soon thereafter as the audit for the redevelopment project area for that fiscal year becomes available. If a TIF administrator provides the Comptroller’s office with sufficient evidence that the report is in the process of being completed by an auditor, the Comptroller may grant an extension. Failure to file the report in the time provided can result in a fine. IAR is NEUTRAL on this bill which was approved by both houses and has been sent to the Governor for his signature.
For more information, contact Mike Scobey of IAR Staff at firstname.lastname@example.org